Happy S&M, er, Valentine’s Day from artist Bryan Barnes
Friday, February 1st 2008
I was first drawn to the art of Bryan Barnes because it’s so strikingly dark. Being a Princess of Darkness I enjoy art that explores the morbid side of life. Also, I was excited he is exhibiting something in an S&M exhibit for Valentine’s Day. I can’t think of a better place to go on Valentine’s Day. Fuck love! Show me some S&M! Hope you enjoy this question and answer session with Bryan. I look forward to getting a photo with him in person at his exhibit in a couple of weeks. And hopefully all of you in the Hollywood area stop by to see what it’s all about…and to say hello to Bryan and me.
Such dark art in San Diego. How did that happen?
I love the Southern California lifestyle, but yes my art my art may be a little dark for sunny San Diego. That’s ok, there has always got to be one black sheep in the herd, right?
According to your bio, you're from Southern California. Have you ever lived outside or California?
I’m born and raised in Southern California, dude! I’ve never lived outside of California, although I love road trips to Vegas. Does that even count for anything?!
How did you get involved in the whole art thing? Were you always creative?
I’ve been drawing since I was really young. It’s weird because even from an early age I somehow knew art is what I was going to do in life. I would always enter art shows and be a part of art clubs in school. My family always supported what I did, which I thought was pretty rad. I grew up with more of a painting and illustration background and got more serious into photography sometime in college.
Do you consider your art morbid?
I just create art that interests me. I’m my best and worst critic. I have a clear focus and direction on what I want to communicate and how I want to execute the art. I never go into a piece with the intent for it to be morbid. That is just the end result. It may be nearly impossible for me to create something that is pop though; it just seems to turn to black in the end.
What do you enjoy most about your work?
Simply that I create art for me and I’m not influenced by what is ‘popular’ for the moment.
Do you have a favorite place to exhibit or what was your favorite exhibit of yours?
Whatever shows or exhibition I’m a part of it, I’m always very excited and happy to be a part of it. It’s always very cool for people to pick up on the vibe on what I’m going for in my work.
Have you ever suffered from insomnia?
Sometimes I feel there just not enough time to sleep. There are always ten thousand things to do and sometimes I forget that I actually have to dedicate time to sleep. I really need to dedicate an entire series to the concept of insomnia.
Talk about your Hollywood Valentine's Day exhibit.
Valentines’ Day will mark the opening of S&M: A Comprehensive Exhibit of S&M artwork at the Antebellum Gallery in Hollywood. The amazing Rick Castro runs the Antebellum Gallery. There will be some cool artists there, and I’m happy to be a part of this exhibition. I will have a piece in the exhibit called ‘Cancer of the Larynx.’ Art was never meant to be safe. This show will make porn stars look like Volvo-driving soccer moms.
Do you think I should go to the exhibit and why?
Of course you should go! If you don’t go, I’ll have to do a piece on how upset I was that you didn’t attend. It could be like some kind of avant-garde-art-emo thing. So, um…like you’re going right? Ha!
You are a very tall fellow (6’8”). Are people ever scared of your size?
Some people might be scared of it, but I’m a pretty chill guy. I mean I’m a pretty strong dude, but I’m not going to arm-wrestle someone into a friendship or something.
Any influences to speak of?
I think early on in college different darker artists influenced me, but now I make a conscious effort to distance myself from other artists’ work, as I don’t want my work to be tainted or influenced. Just like anything, the art world can be very trendy and I’d rather not get caught up for which artist or style is ‘hot’ for 15 minutes.
What do you do with your time besides your art?
I’ve taken this new hobby of drinking martinis. Joking! Well, um sort of. I like to stay pretty fit, going to the gym. I donated my television to charity to solely focus on art and not be influenced by mainstream appeal, so when I’m at home I play guitar, write and read. I have a rad cat, so he is there too. Going out with friends is always fun too.
Do you have a lot of people wanting to model? Male or female? Would you like me to model for you?
I have a lot people (male and female) approach me for modeling, but I’m very precise on the direction I want to go. I’ve had some bigger names want to be photographed and work with me. I’m flattered by the attention I get, but to be honest I don’t do art for someone’s personal gain. There is a clear vision on what I want to communicate and express. And yes, I would love for you to model for me!
Your art has the possibility of giving me many nightmares. How am I supposed to deal with these nightmares?
Well, I suppose I can give you like a big 6’8” hug or something? Nightmares can be sexy if you know where to find them. I never really have nightmares, and if I do they are probably just inspiration for a future artwork. Even when I watch horror movies, there is never a moment when I’m scared or looking to get scared. I watch them because I love the genre and to study the cinematography. I would love to break into the Hollywood scene. It’s something I’ve wanted to do for a while now.
Say anything you want…just because.
I dig art, sexy tattooed girls, pretty things that smell good, Persian cats, death metal, horror movies, ranch dressing on pizza, Jack n Cokes and you, Jolene!